‘Hate Crimes Hurt Us All’ launched this week. Designed to highlight the ripple effect of hate crime across entire communities, the urgent need for hate crime legislation and other measures to tackle the roots of hate crime and hate speech is now essential.
There have been a growing number of reports of hate incidents in Ireland over the past few years and yet there is no legislation to protect the minority communities impacted by these crimes. This new campaign features real individuals from targeted communities in Ireland to showcase the human impact of hate crime.
Hate crimes are message crimes; they deliver the message that members of minority communities are not safe. They hurt us all: individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
Campaign advertisements will run on billboards and out of home sites around the country for the next two months.
CLIMATE OF FEAR
The Coalition Against Hate Crime Ireland (CAHC), led by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) launching the new campaign on Monday.
A survey carried out over the past week of over 400 members of minority communities in Ireland reveals that 43% of respondents have experienced a hate crime or incident and 70% have heard or read about a hate crime or incident against a member of their community.
Half of respondents reported feeling unsafe when a hate crime is committed against someone with their shared identity and a third feel afraid. The climate of fear also takes its toll on the mental health of minority communities with 42% (2 in 5) feeling anxious and 18% (1 in 5) feeling depressed when a hate crime occurs against one member.
This survey investigated the impact a single incident of hate crime has on the entire minority community. It reveals the extent of the changes in behaviours minority communities will take to make themselves feel safer: almost half (48%) of minority communities have avoided particular neighbourhoods or streets when a hate crime was committed against someone with their shared identity. 27% became less social and 19% cancelled plans as a result of a hate crime against their community.
Luna Lara Liboni, ICCL Equality and Hate Crime Policy Officer and Chair of the Coalition Against Hate Crime, said: “‘Hate Crimes Hurts Us All’ shows the impact of hate crime: how a single action not only affects the person subjected to it, the hurt is felt by entire communities, in many cases hundreds of thousands of people who share the same identity, as well as society as a whole. One incident can make an entire community feel targeted and unsafe and that creates a climate of fear.
“Effective hate crime legislation sends a message as a society that hate crimes are not tolerated and is an essential element in recognising the additional harms of such crimes. Legislation is the first essential step, but in order to tackle the roots of hate, we need a wider set of measures from Government.
“That’s why we’re calling for a national action plan against hate alongside the new legislation. This plan should include measures aimed at challenging the beliefs and attitudes underlying such crimes; improved monitoring, reporting, and data; and improved victim support.”